Microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers have wide applicability for genetic analysis in crop plant improvement strategies. The objectives of this project were to isolate, characterize, and map a comprehensive set of SSR markers for maize (Zea mays L.). We developed 1051 novel SSR markers for maize from microsatellite-enriched libraries and by identification of microsatellite-containing sequences in public and private databases. Three mapping populations were used to derive map positions for 978 of these markers. The main mapping population was the intermated B73 x Mo17 (IBM) population. In mapping this intermated recombinant inbred line population, we have contributed to development of a new high-resolution map resource for maize. The primer sequences, original sequence sources, data on polymorphisms across 11 inbred lines, and map positions have been integrated with information on other public SSR markers and released through MaizeDB at URL:www.agron.missouri.edu. The maize research community now has the most detailed and comprehensive SSR marker set of any plant species.